Someone at Metal Blade needs to explain something to me: why the fuck is this album not available yet in the U.S.? Luckily having family come over from Europe, I managed to have them bring a number of records I was having a difficult time finding here. I didn’t however think that a new release from these Swedish Death Metal masters would be one of them. It was only a last minute perusal of Amazon’s UK site that I realized it was out and available there, so I immediately added it to my list of CDs to bring. Now, I realize there isn’t a lot of money to be made from Cds, especially in Metal and definitely at the extreme end of the scale. But come one, it’s available in Europe; couldn’t Metal Blade sling a few copies over to their U.S. headquarters and sell it for VOMITORY’s American fans? Let’s put it this way: you’re not going to get any money now I presume, because those who wanted the album dearly have probably broken down and just got it off the net. So nice move MB!
That entire drama aside, this is another rich and ferocious release from a band celebrating 20 years of existence firmly entrenched in the bludgeoning Death Metal arena. One of the reasons I had this album picked up wasn’t just that their work over the decades has been extremely good (which it has), but also because their 2007 album “Terrorize Brutalize Sodomize” was pretty damn spectacular and should have been in my top 20 for the year, definitely instead of the mistake that was including BARONESS! So, what does “Carnage Euphoria” have in store for us deathers? …a slab of absolutely filthy, buzz saw riff-driven extreme metal with nice modulated notes and licks throughout the songs that give it decent depth. Well named, the opening track “The Carnage Rages On” is a tearing thrust of thick guitars, again provided by founder Urban Gustafsson and relative newcomer Peter Östlund, manic drumming from longtime skinsman Tobias Gustafsson, and a solid if perfunctory bass line from Erik Rundqvist, who also handles the vocals. Once establishing this pressure cooker of sounds, the rhythm suspends for an ever so simple but cool guitar riff that drives the rest of the song. While this is the basic blueprint for the album, the variations of attack are enough to push the record from rudimental DM to something with more breadth within the genre. Speeds shift nicely also, incorporating at times the drop note playing of Swedish Melodic Death a la AT THE GATES along with the punishing feel of VITAL REMAINS or IMMOLATION.
Another separation from others in the brutal camp of Death Metal is a groove that is sprinkled all over the tracks. Now fellow Swedes DISMEMBER do a similar thing within their structures also, but VOMITORY seem to be able to accomplish this at any pace and whether in their more brutal moments or in the slightly melodic passages. Everywhere on the album though are places to thrust your horns up and bang your head with fervour. Vicious, enough melody, groovy and textbook tempo shifts; that’s what I want from a band like VOMITORY, and on “Carnage Euphoria” they deliver in a very satisfactorily metallic fashion. Metal Blade should too!
(Online December 26, 2009)